World champions Steph and Carla Laughton will headline the North Island Inflatable Rescue Boats championships in Whakatane this weekend, with the surf lifesaving event doubling as the second round in the national BP Surf Rescue series.

The St Clair sisters, with three other St Clair crews and three from Christchurch, will compete against 45 North Island crews in the two-day carnival.

It's just three weeks since the sisters returned from winning gold in the tube rescue at Rescue 2012 in Adelaide.

Racing starts at Ohope Beach at 9am tomorrow and continues until Sunday afternoon.